Kenya

Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.


Entry Requirements


There is a new process for obtaining Kenya Visas. All visitors to Kenya will need to obtain a visa online*.

* To complete the Online Form it is best to have Google Chrome installed on your computer. Using Internet Explorer may cause problems in completing the online process.

How to apply online for a Kenya E-Visa

1. Register and activate account.
Register at http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html . You will need to register as an E-Citizen with your name and a password.
Activate your account by clicking on a link in the email sent to you after you have registered.

2. Fill in the application form for single entry visa (includes providing a photo, passport copy, and itinerary) and pay online using a debit or credit card.
Photo - must be a recent passport-type head and shoulders photo with a white background. Please ensure the photo is less than 1MB otherwise it may not upload successfully on the online form.
The photo can be a scanned copy or can be uploaded from your mobile phone.
Passport copy – The scanned pages with your photo and passport details. Name, number, expiration date, etc.
Itinerary - You can upload your itinerary and not necessarily an “invitation letter”.
Fee - $51 if using a debit card or $53.53 if using a credit card.

3. Download and print the E-Visa (PDF form) for presentation to the Passport Control officer on arrival at the airport in Kenya.

Key Points to note:

4. The Kenya Visa is valid for 90 days. The 90-Day Visa Validity commences from the date of E-Visa approval … not of one’s arrival into Kenya. Please be sure you do not apply too early.

5. The E-Visa Portal is mobile enabled and one can complete the application from a mobile phone – including taking and uploading a picture from the phone.

6. The official timeline given is about 48hours to receive the E-Visa approval. (We recommend you allow at least 7 working days to allow for any possible delays since this is a fairly new process.)

7. The Single Entry Visa to Kenya allows for free re-entry to Kenya as long as one is travelling within the EAC countries.

8. The EAC Tourist Visa allowing travel to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is not available online. This can only be applied for and issued on arrival at the Airport.

Disclaimer From Government of Kenya:

* The Visa processing fee is nonrefundable.
* Incomplete applications will be rejected.
* The possession of an E-Visa is not the final authority to enter The Republic of Kenya.
* Engaging in any form of business or employment without a requisite permit or pass is an offence.
* A visa is required prior to entry into The Republic of Kenya.
* The E-Visa printout must be presented at the port of entry.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh). USD are accepted in many places

USD - Please be sure to have smaller bills dated 2009 or newer and must be in good condition, not torn or defaced.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at the major banks, bureaux de change or authorised hotels. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport have 24-hour exchange services. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros.

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$5,000 or equivalent must be declared.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 09h00-15h00, Saturday 09h00-11h00. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier.

Credits Cards are widely accepted in all major hotels and more upmarket establishments, with the most recognized being Master Card and Visa. American Express and Diners Club cards are occasionally accepted. However, you will need some cash handy because smaller shops will only accept cash.

Almost every bank now has an ATM, and they are increasingly being installed at petrol stations in cities and large towns.

Travellers cheques are no longer accepted in Kenya.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Nairobi has two airports for domestic and regional flights: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport (www.kaa.go.ke). Kenya has over 150 domestic airports and airstrips and there are daily flights to the most popular destinations. In addition to the scheduled airlines, several private charter companies operate out of Wilson Airport.

On smaller, domestic planes the baggage allowance is restricted to 15 kg (33 lbs) including hand luggage in fully soft sided bags. Arrangements can be made to leave excess luggage.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Most camps, lodges or hotels cater specifically to tourists and serve Western-style food of an excellent quiality. Please advise us if you have any dietary requirements so we can ensure the camps can cater to your needs.

Nairobi has some of the finest eating establishments in Africa. Many different cuisines and types of restaurants are available, ranging from Indian, Brazilian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German and French restaurants.


Climate and Weather

Kenya has three types of climate: temperate subtropical climate in the west and southwest highlands (where Nairobi is located), hot and humid along the coast, and hot and dry in the north and east.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Just a reminder - no whites or brights for walking in the bush! Pack light, laundry can be done where you have time.

Comfortable, casual clothing that is lightweight is the best bet while on safari. It can be quite cool in the early mornings, so you'll want to dress warmly in layers, until the sun has a chance to warm up the air. "Kenya Convertibles", khaki pants with zip-off legs, are perfect for cool early morning game drives that turn warm before you're back in camp. Walking shorts, long pants, cotton shirts and tees are just right. A cotton bush jacket or wind-breaker will be useful along with a warm sweater or fleece jacket for the cool nights and a hat is a must. A comfortable pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes and a pair of sandals should be adequate.

In Kenya's major cities the dress code is conservative but not overly formal – jeans and decent tops for women are fine. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach but you’ll need to cover up in public places.


Internet Availability

Wi-Fi is readily available in major cities and hotels, as well as in luxury game lodges.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Kenya are of the ‘Type G (BS-1363)’. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Kenya usually supply electricity at 220-240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 220-240 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.



General Guidance

Tipping Guidelines:

Please note that tipping is not included in the price of your safari. We offer some guidelines as follows, but please check with each camp as guidelines vary and our recommendations tend to err on the higher end to ensure you carry enough cash, please note that tipping is at your discretion:

*Kenya (USD is accepted)

· Nairobi - Your transfer drivers in Nairobi need to be taken care of. If you have a driver for the day, it would be appreciated if you invite him to join you for meals where appropriate. A tip of $20 for half a day and $30 for a full day (per group) is a general guideline. Tipping for transfers between the hotel and airport is at your discretion, we recommend between $10 - $15 per group per transfer.

· Kenya Safari - Please check with your host for advice on tipping. A general guideline would be $25 - $35 per person in your party, per night. These tips are distributed amongst the staff: $10 - $15 per person per day for “behind the scenes” help such as laundry, cooks, game drivers, horse handlers, and portage. You will want to tip your guide separately - we suggest $10 - $15 per person in your party per day, and $5 per person per day for your spotter if you have one.

· Tips and gratuities to airport and hotel/lodge porters are at your discretion - suggestion of $2 per bag.


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